Ricardo Gonzalez leads by one at Gleneagles
Shane Lowry, Peter Lawrie and Gareth Maybin best of the Irish on six under
McGinley, who ruled himself out of qualifying for the team as a player next year after an opening 68, returned a second round of 71 to lie nine off the lead on five under.
Shane Lowry and Gareth Maybin are on six under after 70s, alongside Peter Lawrie (67). The trio is two ahead of Michael Hoey (72) and three shots better off than Simon Thornton, who just made the cut with a 67. On one under, Gareth Shaw (69) missed the cut, as did Damien McGrane, whose 75 left him one over, and David Higgins, two over after a 74.
English duo Mark Foster and Tommy Fleetwood are 11 under after rounds of 67 and 65 respectively, with Foster admitting his search for a second European Tour victory 10 years after his first is always on his mind. The 38-year-old from Worksop also lost out in the play-off here in 2011 after a bogey on the 72nd hole and has let several other chances to win slip from his grasp.
“At the time it was not too bad, but as it went on I thought about it more, especially every time I step onto the 18th tee here now,” said Foster, whose sole victory to date came after a six-man play-off in the Dunhill Championship in South Africa in 2003. “I’m not one for regrets. I stayed positive and hit drives and just made a bad swing rather than choosing a bad club.”
Speaking about his other near-misses, Foster added: “Nobody thinks about it more than me. If I knew what it was I would have put it right. There have been occasions when I could have won but I have to keep putting myself in position and see what happens.”
Australia’s Brett Rumford, winner of back-to-back tournaments in Korea and China earlier this season and second here 12 months ago, was among those five off the lead after a 69, while defending champion Paul Lawrie was another two strokes back following a 67.
“I hit it lovely today and I am in there again,” said Lawrie, whose win 12 months ago came after he had already sealed his place on the Ryder Cup team for Medinah. “I think I will probably need a low weekend with the way the scoring is going but as long as you are in there you have a chance.”